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Happy Monday, everyone! We started making our gift lists this weekend and I was reminded of this post from last year. Here it is again in case you missed it, and I updated the free printable for you spreadsheet lovers out there. Enjoy! -Sarah

 

gift list, holiday, printable

My kids are the only grandchildren on both sides, and are lucky to have three sets of generous grandparents and a couple of great-grandparents who all ask the same question this time of year: What do the kids want for Christmas?

As mom and Chief Orchestrator of Holiday Magic, it’s my job to keep it all straight. Who wants what, to begin with, and then with whom have I shared these wishes, and did I tell two grandparents the same thing and did I remember to tell anyone about that one other thing that so-and-so wants?

Once the grandparents have been satisfied with hints and links and sizes and lists, the rest of the gift planning begins. We keep things pretty simple, but still there are lists to be made, budgets to stick to, teachers to recognize, and stockings to fill.

It’s an organizational challenge, and one I haven’t nailed down yet (ask me about the time my daughter got three kites from three different relatives for her birthday) – but I’m getting there. Today I thought I’d share 5 methods I’ve used to organize my holiday gift lists, along with what’s worked well and what hasn’t. I’d love your tips and strategies in the comments, too! [click to continue…]

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Managing Bedwetting With Love (Plus Enter To Win GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear!)

by Meagan Francis November 7, 2014
Managing Bedwetting With Love (Plus Enter To Win GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear!)

Good news! The deadline on this giveaway has been extended until December 5! We are loving all the comments on this post – leave your own and enter to win!    Does your child wet the bed? If so, you know that bedwetting can add an incredible amount of stress and uncertainty to family life. […]

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Happy Halloween!

by Meagan Francis October 31, 2014
Happy Halloween!

It’s been a busy week in our homes (and yes, this week’s podcast was sacrificed to the rest of my to-do list, but I’ll be back with a new episode next week!) Sarah and I thought we’d share a few pictures of our kiddos in their Halloween costumes and then get back to school parades, […]

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4 Ways To Bring Your Parenting A-Game This Halloween

by Sarah Powers October 28, 2014
4 Ways To Bring Your Parenting A-Game This Halloween

Dear Halloween, I love you, and I hate you. The itty-bitty baby costumes are so cute, and the way my kids’ faces light up in anticipation of trick-or-treating is something special.  But also? UGH. Too-sexy costumes for little girls, gory images that give my preschooler nightmares, and more sugar in a single day than my toddler has […]

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Read-Aloud Revival With Sarah Mackenzie: The Home Hour Episode 41

by Meagan Francis October 23, 2014
Read-Aloud Revival With Sarah Mackenzie: The Home Hour Episode 41

We all know we’re supposed to read to our kids every day, right? But it can be easier said than done. Between tongue-twisting passages in picture books and toddlers crawling over you while you’re trying to read to older siblings, reading aloud is one of those things that can be kind of a drag for […]

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Discipline At Every Age: The Home Hour Episode 40

by Meagan Francis October 16, 2014
Discipline At Every Age: The Home Hour Episode 40

  What’s your discipline style? Are you relaxed? Authoritative? Do you use punishments, rewards, natural consequences? When a reader asked Sarah and I for some advice on a common – but totally exasperating – toddler tendency, we realized that not only do we rarely write about discipline here on the blog, but that we had never actually […]

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Planning for College: Keep Calm and Control What You Can.

by Meagan Francis October 15, 2014
Planning for College: Keep Calm and Control What You Can.

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks on behalf of Kaplan Test Prep. A week or two ago I got an email from my son Jacob’s school with registration dates for the PSAT (a preliminary version of the SAT.) At first, I dismissed the email, thinking I’d somehow wound up lumped in with parents of upperclassmen. Then […]

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6 Tips For Cooking With Toddlers Underfoot

by Meagan Francis October 14, 2014
6 Tips For Cooking With Toddlers Underfoot

Hey all! Sarah here. Funny story, and then a little trip back into the archives for a great post of Meagan’s from a few years ago. The post you’re about to read was one of the very first ones I remember reading on this blog (then called The Happiest Mom). At the time I had […]

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Can “Mean Moms” Raise Happy Kids? Denise Schipani On The Home Hour Episode 39

by Meagan Francis October 9, 2014
Can "Mean Moms" Raise Happy Kids? Denise Schipani On The Home Hour Episode 39

Has anyone ever told you that you’re a “mean mom?” Today I’m happy to welcome my good friend, author and blogger Denise Schipani, who takes pride in her “mean mom” title. Even though on the surface Denise and I might seem different (she’s the meanie and I’m all about the happy), in reality, we have a lot in common: […]

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Win A Halloween Costume & Treat Bag From One Step Ahead!

by Sarah Powers October 7, 2014
Win A Halloween Costume & Treat Bag From One Step Ahead!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Comments are now closed and our winner has been notified. Happy Halloween! Here’s the truth, mamas: I’m quickly losing ground when it comes to choosing my children’s Halloween costumes. Gone are the days of browsing the catalogues for adorable baby and toddler ensembles. My older two kids told […]

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